“You could tell there was something different in the air,” said Jimmy Barton as he described his first experience at #1000Saints. For a second year, athletics partnered with Maryville University’s Kids Rock Cancer program to create an unforgettable night for everyone in attendance.
On Thursday, February 16, over 1,000 fans poured into the Simon Athletic Center to help support Kids Rock Cancer and both basketball teams. With many generous donations throughout the night, the $10,000 goal was exceeded and the final count came in at $16,272.
What is Kids Rock Cancer?
Music Therapy student Mariah Broeker, junior, said, “First and foremost, Kids Rock Cancer is a program that provides music therapy services to children of cancer and blood-related disorders free of charge.” Broeker comes in contact with the charity often through volunteer and internship opportunities as well as class visits from some of the Kids Rock Cancer music therapists.
Since its start in 2009, Kids Rock Cancer has treated over 1000 patients and created over 850 songs. The charity works with not only kids with cancer and blood disorders, but also family members. Director of Maryville University’s Special Programs Liz Haynes said, “It’s not just the child or the parent that goes through cancer, but it’s the entire family.” Haynes said athletics was gracious enough to approach the charity last year to partner and after brainstorming, “1000 was a natural tie-in, because the kids could perform at half-time. It’s one thing to see the kids, but when you see them perform it really pulls at the heart strings.”
Senior Alex Wolf said #1000Saints is her favorite event each year. “I get excited hearing everyone cheer when we score a point and it’s great to have the Kids Rock Cancer kids a part of it as well,” said Wolf. Athletics goes out of their way to make this night one of the best of the season with a free t-shirt to anyone that walks in the door and a student tailgate before the games with free food.
Even though both teams fell to the Drury Panthers, the gymnasium was still full of excitement. Barton said he went into the night like it was a regular game, but “the energy was better than normal with all the students and the kids singing the national anthem and during halftime.” It was a night to be remembered.
Check out Kids Rock Cancer online. All donations are appreciated.